The Life of Daniel
Dr. Stephen Phinney
DANIEL #1 | INTRODUCTION
“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8, NASB).
Many years ago, God told my mother-in-law that I was destined to be a preacher of the end times. Keep in mind that I barely knew how to read when she said that, let alone stand in a pulpit to preach. I kindly smiled in disbelief. Then she gave me books and resources on the eschatological elements of the Bible, which included Dr. Charles Hoff, Oliver Greene, Charles Layman, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, and a host of others. Talk about a fish out of water. Since I trusted her implicitly, I carefully treasured these resources throughout my life. It took me a few years to pick up these books and read them, primarily, because I had to learn to read. When I did, though, a new world opened to this frail, dependent mind of mine. When I look at my life today, and the works that pour forth from my hands, I see the prophetic nudging of my precious mother-in-law. I am eternally grateful for this traditional Dutch woman and her obedience to the Lord’s prophecies.
A mentor of mine once said these words to me: “God is about to do great and mighty things through you.” While you would think that I’d be excited, I was not. It promoted my childhood flesh pattern of fear. This mentor, a conservative Baptist pastor, then laid hands on me and prayed a bold prayer of release. It was as if someone had poured a bucket of warm water over my entire body. I got up from this experience, and without hesitation, I began speaking Hebrew. Both of us were amazed. I studied Hebrew first, Greek second, Latin third, and then English from that day forward. This is how I studied the book of Daniel.
You see, my love for the book of Daniel erupted out of necessity. I had a gift within my mortal soul where I viewed all of life through the prophetic elements of the Holy Scriptures. I couldn’t deny it. I was unable to stop it. And it consumed my worldview 24-hours a day.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DANIEL’S BOOK
Daniel is considered as important as Noah and Job (Ezekiel 14:14). He is also considered to be the man God used to set up the book of Revelation. The book of Daniel in the Old Testament is the twin to the New Testament’s book of Revelation. Of all the honored characters found in the Word of God, there is none more intriguing, appealing, loveable, and pure than Daniel. Like Joseph, Jacob’s son, there were no accounts of evil recorded against Daniel’s life.
The book of Daniel is most remarkable. It is packed with prophecies that flow into modern culture. Like Daniel himself, it is a unique and supernatural work. It records the course of the history of the nations from Daniel’s day until the end, as stated in Revelation. Critics throughout the ages have groaned in despair in their attempts to discredit the book of Daniel, but there’s no other book in the Bible that has been so completely and accurately vindicated by history.
Another intriguing fact that makes this book important is that every prophecy in Daniel, up until this hour, has been meticulously, accurately, and minutely fulfilled in every detail stated. His imparted prophecies will continue to unfold until the last hour, and we can expect the fulfilled prophecies that are stated in Revelation’s books to align with God’s timeline.
There is no better way for humanity to reject the supernatural, verbal inspiration in the Bible—the infallible dictation of the Scriptures by the Spirit of God—than to delude and destroy Daniel’s writings in our modern culture. Skeptics hate prophecies, and they’re afraid to consider them as the projected truth that prepared Jesus for establishing the New Covenant Church. Through the denouncing of the Old Testament prophets and their prophecies, skeptics think they will somehow unravel the truth that Jesus indeed exists within the born-again believer and grafts them into the Body of Christ. Despite all these hellish doctrines hurled at the book of Daniel, it still stands as the most historic, futuristic writing of all-time. The fact is, if Satanic critics continue trying to discredit Daniel, then Satan’s attack upon the Word of God will continue through the ages until he arrives at his position as the Antichrist.
A RELENTLESS ATTACK ON DANIEL
Out of the sixty-six books in the Bible, there have never been so many attacks from God’s enemies on His Word as on the book of Daniel. Daniel’s book remains discredited by many theologians who refuse to connect his writings to the book of Revelation. Some even adhere that the book was not written by Daniel at all. In comparison, others claim that such a person as Daniel never existed. However, those of us who love and study the Word of God know this is just another attack of Satan, which is no different than what Daniel experienced during his commissioning from the Lord.
Eschatological theologians, like myself, believe Daniel’s book is one of the most important and pivotal books in the Bible, and for that reason, Satan manipulates present-day believers from studying it, which is the same case with Revelation’s book. Why? Because it contains like-minded visuals, much like the book of Revelation.
DANIEL AND THE CHURCH
What does the book of Daniel have to do with the Church? Everything! Our study will connect every noted detail of Daniel’s life, mission, dreams, and activities of the believer’s salvation in Christ who became the New Covenant Church. However, when one interprets without the Holy Spirit and then rejects the practical applications of prophecies, that person may be saved or not, but such practices will lead them to be a cold, lifeless, and spiritless lukewarm believer.
Five Main Points
Never, and I mean never, discount the man Daniel and the prophecies God gave him throughout his ministry.
Interpretations of man are fruitless without the interpretation of the Holy Spirit. The Living God inspires all Scriptures. The Holy Spirit, who is the primary interpreter of prophesies, must always be the One who clarifies prophesies. If you, or others, believe that the Bible was written by mere men (absent of the Holy Spirit), then you are acting like a fool. You are clueless to the power of God using mere men—from Moses to Jesus’ beloved John—to write His inspired Word.
Jesus declared Daniel to be a prophet (Matthew 24:15). Christ referenced Daniel because he was the counterpart of Himself. We see this more as Daniel prophesied concerning the future of Jesus’ arrival, death, and resurrection, as well as the role that Jesus would play out in Revelation’s book.
Daniel always dealt with things that have happened and will occur during the Gentile Age—the Tribulation Period—which is referenced in the Old Testament as Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).
Daniel and his God-honoring companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were historical characters, but they were also types of phases that Israel must go through. The experience of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and the experience of Daniel in the lions’ den, typifies the history of Israel during the time of the Gentiles, the reign of the Antichrist, and the time of Jacob’s trouble (when Satan will attempt his last effort to annihilate Israel).
As I often state, prophecies are the fuel to the indwelling life. On the other hand, to take only the practical applications of prophecies, while refusing to see the primary doctrinal views of the Living God in them, will lead to religious inflations.
Note: Daniel was the Old Testament figure of the New Testament disciple Peter who was considered the lead disciple. As Daniel was focused on establishing Judah’s synagogue (church), Peter was the man Jesus set aside to ignite the New Covenant Church. Furthermore, Daniel set up Nehemiah’s work to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem and ignite Judaistic worship.